Why making annual exclusion gifts before year end can still be a good idea

A tried-and-true estate planning strategy is to make tax-free gifts to loved ones during life, because it reduces potential estate tax at death. There are many ways to make tax-free gifts, but one of the simplest is to take advantage of the annual gift tax exclusion with direct gifts. Even in a potentially changing estate[…]

Don’t miss your opportunity to make 2015 annual exclusion gifts

Recently, the IRS released the 2016 annually adjusted amount for the unified gift and estate tax exemption and the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption: $5.45 million (up from $5.43 million in 2015). But even with the rising exemptions, annual exclusion gifts offer a valuable tax-saving opportunity. The 2015 gift tax annual exclusion allows you to[…]

Married with a large estate?

Why you still need a credit shelter trust Even though portability now allows married couples to use up both spouses’ estate tax exemptions without having to make lifetime asset transfers or set up trusts, this “easier” path isn’t necessarily the better path. For couples with large estates, making lifetime asset transfers and setting up trusts[…]

Have you had your annual estate plan checkup?

An annual estate plan checkup is critical to the health of your estate plan. Because various exclusion, exemption and deduction amounts are adjusted for inflation, they can change from year to year, impacting your plan: 2014 2015 Lifetime gift and estate tax exemption $5.34 million $5.43 million Generation-skipping transfer tax exemption $5.34 million $5.43 million[…]

What Kind of Trust Can We Set up to Take Care of Our Special Needs Child?

A. You can create a special needs trust. For example, a couple whose child has severe autism might want a special needs trust because they’re worried about how the child will survive after the parents’ deaths. Reasons a trust is beneficial: Many people depend on government benefits, such as Social Security, Medicaid, rehabilitative care and transportation[…]

Can I Use a Qualified Residence Trust for a Vacation Home?

Yes. Many people with second homes want them to stay in the family but also want to limit estate and gift taxes upon their transfer. One way to achieve this might be to create a qualified personal residence trust (QPRT). How Is the Property Valued? The gift’s value is determined by calculating the home’s present[…]